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Former OSP Trooper Facing Theft and Official Misconduct Charges in Umatilla CountySalem-News.com
(Pendleton, Oregon) - A former state trooper will be arraigned December 7th in Umatilla County Circuit Court on theft and official misconduct charges following an investigation into allegations he falsified time cards and stole gasoline using a department issued gas card.
Anthony Andrew Atkins, age 40, accompanied by his attorney, was booked at the Umatilla County Jail on November 22, 2010 at approximately 1:30 p.m. following an investigation by the Oregon State Police (OSP) Office of Professional Standards.
Atkins was indicted November 18th by a Umatilla County Grand Jury on three (3) counts of Theft in the First Degree, four (4) counts of Theft in the Second Degree, and two (2) counts of Official Misconduct in the First Degree. Atkins was later released pending an initial appearance in Umatilla County Circuit Court scheduled for December 7th at 8:15 a.m.
Atkins resigned October 31st after working as an OSP trooper for over 16 years. He was last assigned at the Hermiston work site and was on paid administrative leave since August 4, 2010.
OSP started an internal inquiry in August when his supervisor spotted discrepancies in ATKINS' monthly time activity reports. The initial investigation was taken over by the OSP Office of Professional Standards and assigned to an Inspector for a criminal investigation. At the request of the Umatilla County District Attorney's Office, Baker County District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff was assigned as a special prosecutor to assist with the investigation and subsequent prosecution.
The investigation alleges Atkins submitted falsified time activity reports claiming hours that he did not work, including overtime hours, beginning in January 2010. The loss to the State of Oregon exceeded $5,000. The one-month investigation also uncovered unusual use of a department issued gas card at a self-service facility. An audit showed over $1,000 of gasoline was stolen for use in his personal vehicle during a three year period.
Superintendent Chris Brown stressed that all members of the Oregon State Police are necessarily delegated a high level of trust and as such, are held to a very high personal and professional standard.
"I do not accept criminal behavior on the part of any Department employee. We will thoroughly investigate allegations of improper conduct by an employee and objectively pursue prosecution for criminal conduct when the facts and evidence support such action," said Brown.
The Office of Professional Standards reports directly to the Superintendent's Office and is charged with conducting or coordinating criminal investigations when allegations of illegal activity are raised against a member of the Department. The office is also responsible to ensure compliance with Department policy, rules and procedures, among other duties.
An internal investigation regarding Atkins' conduct was pending completion of the criminal investigation. Given his resignation, the internal investigation has been closed according Captain Steve Duvall, director of the Office of Professional Standards.
Theft in the First Degree is a Class C felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $125,000.
Official Misconduct in the First Degree and Theft in the Second Degree are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,250.
News Release from: Oregon State Police
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